IMPORTANT Announcement about Herbal Treasures’ Website

Our heartfelt tussy mussies of thanks to our many, many Garden Friends, herby folks and online supporters for faithfully reading Herbal Treasures of Hickory Hollow’s writings and joining us on the winding garden path since 1998. It has been such fun! We appreciate all of you, your support and interest — thank you!

After much consideration, we decided to travel “light” and make our Herbal Treasures’ garden home here on WordPress. In doing so, we recently let go of the domain (website URL) herbaltreas.com that we had held since 1998. Please be advised that anything now appearing on our old website URL is in no way affiliated with Herbal Treasures of Hickory Hollow or also known as Herbal Treasures.

It has recently come to our attention that the new domain owner is still utilizing some of the webpage URLs we previously established, even though the content is not relevant to the title of the page. Again, these new pages are in no way affiliated with Herbal Treasures of Hickory Hollow or also known as Herbal Treasures. At no time has Herbal Treasures of Hickory Hollow or also known as Herbal Treasures ever sold herbs, teas, supplements, soaps, essential oils or any related products online.

Last year, we began to offer our Advent Wreath Making Book and Devotional for purchase. This year, we upgraded to offer them in addition to an instructional video and more include more materials, making the package a real online Advent Wreath Making Workshop! The feedback has been very positive for the Advent Wreath Making Workshop, and we have been and are in the midst of rolling our more online multimedia herbal workshops.

Most of the ‘herbal work’ I have been busy with this year has been offline. I have been very involved with turning much of my writings and research into multimedia formats, which I think you will enjoy. A Basketful of Herbal Snippets, the book I wrote to celebrate Library Week with The Herb Society of America is about to go to press and will soon be available in a republished format.

All of this exciting change comes at a great time we think, with our 10th online anniversary this year!

We do have many more exciting plans that we will be rolling out during 2009, so hope you will stay tuned…

All best wishes for a Happy, Herbal 2009!

Look forward to seeing you in the New Year…

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Advent Wreath Making in Under One Hour

Advent Wreath Making

Advent Wreath Making: Simply ~ and ~ Beautiful!

Are you looking for a meaningful addition to truly celebrate Christmas?

Are you already beginning to feel a ‘holiday crunch’ on your time? The holiday rush?

Do you want to celebrate this Season “simply”?

Advent begins tomorrow, and is a wonderful time to s-l-o-w down and really soak in the true meaning of what Christmas is all about — and it is not about the ‘crunch’ or rush.

A wonderful way to do this is by celebrating Advent at home. Making an Advent Wreath is a wonderful tradition that can easily be made up quickly and frugally, yet be a beautiful touch to your seasonal decor. Many of the items you probably have on hand.

Fresh clippings can be had from your yard or from a willing friend’s garden, or perhaps you have a stash of unused holiday decor items you could fashion into a lovely wreath.

This is a great family activity and once made, serves as a reminder of the Reason for this Season — and maybe a symbol to s-l-o-w down and steep in that thought just a bit.

A few days ago, I wrote about teaching an Advent Wreath Making Workshop for area homeschool moms as a “Mom’s Night Out.” We had such a fun time and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The designs were incredible, each unique and beautiful. None of the ladies had ever made an Advent Wreath before, so rest assured — no experience is required. That being the case, they also discovered they could make an Advent Wreath in an hour or less!

Not quite sure how to go about making an Advent Wreath?

To help you assemble a safe, sturdy wreath, and learn about the proper care and use of an Advent Wreath, we have just released Herbal Treasures Advent Wreath Making Guide, Advent Wreath Devotional and online Workshop. Based on 10 years of study about Advent Wreaths and 5 years of teaching and writing about them, our Advent Wreath Making Book Package is available by PDF download on your computer, so you don’t have to wait for a delivery — or pay shipping charges!

For more information about Herbal Treasures’ Advent Wreath Making Guide and Advent Wreath Devotional and Online Workshop

Herbal Treasures Featured WordPress Blog

Gar Path  We received a cool surprise in our email today! 

Herbal Treasures’ blog was featured by WordPress — check it out

Winterizing the Herb Garden

Christmas Candle Winterizing the Herb Garden

A few hours tidying up a garden at season’s end saves a lot of unnecessary hard work for the spring, when you are anxious to plant and till some new soil! As the weather has been so unseasonably warm in many parts, if you have not yet attended to some of these chores, it’s not too late!

Prune and shape – artemisia, marjoram, oregano, lavender, thyme – don’t cut back severely, but light pruning after frost is fine. Cut off spent flower stems and dead limbs throughout the garden. Avoid severe pruning late in the fall, as winter hardiness is reduced until the cuts have healed. Woody plants should not be severely pruned within 4 – 6 weeks of the first severe freeze.

Pull up annuals and tender perennials you do not plan to over winter, placing them into your composting pile. Remove dead, damaged or diseased plants, to lessen the spread of disease to other plants in your garden now, or next growing season. This minimizes over wintering insects and disease problems.

Prior to first frost: Pull tropicals, scented geraniums, other plants you may wish to pot and over winter. (Tender perennials are best potted up in the late summer.) Cuttings might be taken to root, rather than trying to pot up and keep a well established tender perennial, or if you should lose it during the winter, trying to over winter it.

Clean up garden beds, by raking and removing leaves and trash. Transplant “orphan” herb plants you may discover along the way, to a better spot, or mark with a plant stake. Let the beds remain clean and clear for a week or so. Many insect pests and some weeds seeds are destroyed when exposed to the sun and to chilly nights.

“Pull the covers up”, by spreading 1-2″ of compost or topsoil over the garden beds; then top with loose organic mulch, which acts like a blanket. Woodchips or sawdust should not be used, as they absorb the nitrogen, necessary for plants to grow. Winter mulching helps to maintain a uniform soil temperature around the plant’s root system, while providing protection against heaving caused by the freezing and thawing of soil.

Flat, heavy stones may be used to “mulch” around lavender plants, to help keep the soil from heaving, in areas where winter is more severe. Leaves, straw or a simple cut pine bough placed around French tarragon, germander, Roman chamomile, silver and lemon thyme, winter savory, large lavender or sage plants, help provide protection. In areas of large amounts of snow or ice, teepees of twigs, sticks or bamboo may be constructed, and the leaves or straw mounded within for greater plant protection.

Rewrite or replace plant markers, as you go…

Cared for properly, many herbs (and other perennial plants!) will thrive in your garden for seasons to come! Enjoy!!!

TIP: Use clippings to make an Advent Wreath and other seasonal decor!

Advent Wreath Making

Advent Wreath Advent begins 4 Sundays before Christmas. This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 2, 2007.

I am very excited to be teaching an Advent Wreath Making workshop for area homeschool moms as a special “Mom’s Night Out” this month!

The result will be a uniquely lovely Advent Wreath centerpiece-size and scale appropriate for most homes. Each mom will receive an Advent Devotional to take home, to use with their newly-created wreath.

This time of the year is incredibly busy with preparations for Christmas programs, events and plays, but it will offer all a great time of fellowship and fun. What better time to slow for just a bit, enjoy some special time and remember the Reason for this Season?

Are you interested in receiving instructions and an Advent Devotional? Herbal Treasures Advent Wreath Making Workshop is now online!

For Herbal Treasures Advent Wreath Making Workshop Online and Advent Wreath Making Guide and Devotional, click here:

http://snipurl.com/4pfer

Gardener Inspiration: Centerpiece with Fall Flair

Fall Cntrpc Gardener’s Inspiration: Fall Flair with Natural & Found Items

This is a really quick Festive Fall Idea we enjoy:

Using your Preserved Fall Leaves, scatter them on a 36″ length of “fall”(color or design, hemmed or just folded under) fabric down the center of a table; arrange selected garden harvest-type items (ie – squash, pumpkins, etc.), accented with pretty spicy-scented votive candles.

Using an apple corer, hollow-out a candleholder space in some of the gourds, pumpkins or apples for votive candles. 

CAUTION: Be sure the item you use as an improvised candle holder is stable and placed in such a way that it will remain in its intended position, to avoid a fire hazard! 

Preserving Flowers for Crafting

Potpourri  Preserving the Floral Harvest

Drying Flowers with a homemade desiccating powder

First:

Mix together in a shoebox:

2 cups corn meal
1 cup borax laundry booster
Then:

Select flower blooms (to dry) and…
in the shoebox, bury the blooms in the drying mixture, taking care they are not touching.

Depending upon size, the flowers will dry within a few days.

Store covered, until plant materials are thoroughly dried.

Lemon Balm is Official Herb of 2007

Lemon Balm  Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is a lemon-scented member of the mint family. A native to southern Europe, it is a perennial that will over-winter in hardiness zones 4 to 5.  

As it grows, the lemon balm plant develops multiple branches, growing to a height of about two feet. Leaves are often 2 to 3 inches long, oval to almost heart shaped, shiny and wrinkled texture with scalloped edges. Small light blue to white flowers appear in late spring through midsummer.

 

Lemon balm has a delicate lemon scent and flavor. It is often used as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb.

 

Fresh sprigs are used as garnishes for cold drinks and on salads and main dishes.

 

Fresh or dried leaves make a refreshing iced or hot tea.

 

Dried leaves are used as an ingredient in potpourri.

 

Lemon balm essential oil is used in aromatherapy and in creating perfumes.

 

 

And more Home Gardening Info

 

More Horticultural and Plant Use Info

  

Medicinal Uses for Lemon Balm

 

History, Cultivation and Medical Uses

 

My favorite lemon balm recipe and an herbal leaflet for you.

Preserving Cut Flowers and Herbs for Weddings and Events

Vic VioletsnRoses      You can arrange and press your own herbs and flowers. 

You can grow your own wedding flowers and make your own wedding bouquet.

 

 

Homemade Floral Preservative: Ratio of  – 1 can or 7-UP or Sprite, to 1 can water = 1/2teaspoon bleach.

 

 

STORING:

Keep completed floral arrangements out of direct sunlight, placed in a cool location. Occasional misting will prevent wilting. Commercial floral preservatives or a bit of bleach in the water may increase longevity of cut flowers and herbs, but if used, do not use plant materials in, on or around food or beverages.

 

Making Potpourri from Your Garden – Final Part of VII

Potpourri        Displaying and Enjoying Your Decorative Potpourri

           

Best shown off in open containers, dry-method potpourris may be both an aromatic and a decorative touch to your surroundings. When properly blended, these fragrant mixtures retain delicate colors and scents of the plant materials used. As such an accessory, coordinate the container with the room, furnishings, and overall scheme. Suitable containers for displaying potpourri are virtually limitless, and many are already somewhere in your home!  Some ideas: baskets, bottles, bowls, jars, pottery, shells, vases.

Inspirations for creative displays: layer potpourri in varied bands in glass jars; place potpourri in a silk flower-filled vase; incorporate miniatures to create a theme or scene in a chosen container.      

Make small sachets with the potpourri blend: as lovely enclosures in gifts and cards, these make them more special; also tuck under furniture cushions. 

Spicy Potpourri: add dried apples and/or orange slices, or decorative (non-edible) gingerbread cutouts to your potpourri blend.

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